COLUMBIA, Mo. — A judge has ruled in favor of a Missouri-based brewery in a lawsuit alleging the company copied the name and can design of a Maine-based brewery’s signature export ale.
U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey ruled in favor of Columbia’s Logboat Brewing Co. on Monday, the Columbia Missourian reported .
Shipyard Brewing Co. filed the lawsuit in Missouri last year over Logboat’s Shiphead Ginger Wheat beer. Shipyard accused Logboat of choosing the beer’s name and can’s design to deceive consumers into thinking they were buying Shipyard’s beer, which have names like Pumpkinhead and Melonhead.
The lawsuit argued that the words “ship” and “head” are associated with the Shipyard brand, but Laughrey said those are generic words. She also said shipyard is a recognized word in the English language, whereas “shiphead” is made up.
“There is no evidence that Logboat intended to pass its Shiphead Ginger Wheat beer off as Shipyard beer, and there is no evidence of actual confusion,” Laughrey said.
The “shiphead” name came from a 2003 painting of a woman with her hair done to look like a ship, made by a friend of Logboat’s founders. The painting is the image used on the Shiphead can and the inspiration for the name, according to the ruling.
“Logboat’s mark was never challenged during the registration process as being likely to cause confusion with the trademark of any other party,” a statement on Logboat’s website said.
Shipyard added a defamation allegation to the lawsuit last year after Columbia residents posted negative reviews on the brewery’s social media page. Laughrey dismissed the allegation in December, saying the reviews are protected by the First Amendment.
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